Yahoo’s acquisition of RockMelt last week kicked off another round of armchair quarterbacking questioning the wisdom of aquiring so many startups purely for talent. Only time will ultimately validate the strategy but I think an interesting discussion is given Yahoo!’s position, what would you build given the influx of new talent?
Build a low cost, gaming focused tablet
With the popularity and penetration of tablets accelerating, now would be a great time for Yahoo! to enter the space. In addition to consumer interest, Android 4.3 is rock solid, OEMs are comfortable building “decent” tablets, and Amazon has proved that alternate Android app stores work. So what if Yahoo! built a low cost, gaming focused tablet, with an alternative app store and developer friendly terms? I think they’d be able to successfully capture the low to mid market and then primarily drive revenue via app and in-app purchases.
Double down on Fantasy Sports
One of the few Yahoo! properties that I actually see people visit are it’s Fantasy Sports offerings. Given that, I think it makes sense for Yahoo! to double down on Fantasy and make it an absolutely killer offering. Things like an open API, facilitating playing with real money, and Nate Silver style statistics would set Yahoo! Fantasy apart and ultimately restore the “cool” around the Yahoo! brand.
A killer second screen experience
Remember that tablet Yahoo! just built? Well why not leverage it to put relevant “pop culture” and “celeb gossip” content in front of Yahoo!’s users? It’s not sexy to talk about, but a lot of Yahoo!’s traffic is driven by this type of content and if they can monetize it more effectively than display advertising it should be an easy win. In addition, with the “new” Fantasy Sports available Yahoo! would be able to provide relevant content during live sports and monetize those users as well.
Anyway, whatever Yahoo! ends up building I’m sure it’ll be a bold departure from it’s old path. They have the cash, talent, and hopefully the vision to reinvent a once great Internet giant into a real contender.